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"Outright lie": Rajeev Chandrasekhar on ex-Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey's "pressure" claim

New Delhi: Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar on Tuesday rejected Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey's claim that the Indian government put pressure on the microblogging platform to block accounts covering the farmers' protests terming it as an "an outright lie" and "an attempt to brush out the very dubious period" of the social media company's history.
In an interview with YouTube channel 'Breaking Points with Krystal and Saagar', on Monday, Dorsey who stepped down from Twitter's board last year, alleged that the Indian government had put pressure on Twitter and said that it will shut down the company in India and raid the houses of its employees. ".....India is one of the countries which had many requests around farmers protests, around particular journalists which were critical of the government and it manifested in ways such as we will shut Twitter down in India, India is a big marketplace for us. We would raid the homes of your employees, which they did and we will shut down your offices if you don't follow suit and this is India, a democratic country, " Dorsey is heard saying in the interview to the YouTube channel.
Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar today said that Twitter under Jack Dorsey and his team were "in repeated and continuous violations of Indian law and that they complied only after June 2022.
"No one went to jail nor was twitter shutdown," he said in a tweet.
He took to Twitter today to post: "This is an outright lie by @jack- perhaps an attempt to brush out that very dubious period of twitters history. @twitter undr Dorsey n his team were in repeated n continuous violations of India law. As a matter of fact they were in non-compliance with the law repeatedly from 2020 to 2022 and it was only June 2022 when they finally complied. No one went to jail nor was twitter shutdown," he wrote.
He further said that Dorsey's Twitter regime had a problem accepting the sovereignty of Indian law.
"It behaved as if the laws of India did not apply to it. India as a sovereign nation has the right to ensure that its laws are followed by all companies operating in India," Rajeev Chandrasekhar wrote.
Referring to the farmer's protest in January 2021, he said that since there was a lot of misinformation the government of India was obligated to remove such information from the platform because it had the potential to further inflame the situation based on fake news.
"During the protests in January 2021, there was a lot of misinformation and even reports of genocide which were definitely fake. GoI was obligated to remove misinformation from the platform because it had the potential to further inflame the situation based on fake news. Such was the level of partisan behaviour on Twitter under Jack regime, that they had a problem removing misinformation from the platform in India, when they did it themselves when similar events took place in the USA," Chandrasekhar said in his tweet.
He further clarified that no one was raided or sent to jail the focus was to ensure compliance with Indian laws.
"To set the record straight, no one was raided or sent to jail. Our focus was only on ensuring compliance with Indian laws. There is ample evidence now in public domain abt Jack twitter's arbitrary, blatantly partisan n discriminatory conduct and misuse of its power on its platform during that period," he wrote.
"Twitter under Dorsey was not just violating Indian law, but was partisan in how it was using "deamplify" n deplatforming of some arbitrarily in violation of Art 14,19 of our constitution and also assisting in weaponising of misinformation. Our govts policies remain clear for all Intermediaries operating in India - compliance with laws to ensure the Internet is Safe&Trusted, Accountable," he wrote further.
In November 2021, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the repeal of the three Central farm laws.
In his address to the nation, PM Modi said then, "Today I want to tell everyone that we have decided to repeal all three farm laws."
Farmers staged a protest in large numbers against the government's three farm laws since the Centre passed the laws in 2020.
The three farm laws are -- The Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act provides for setting up a mechanism allowing the farmers to sell their farm produces outside the Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMCs). Any licence-holder trader can buy the produce from the farmers at mutually agreed prices. This trade of farm produces will be free of mandi tax imposed by the state governments.
The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act allows farmers to do contract farming and market their produces freely.
The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act is an amendment to the existing Essential Commodities Act. (ANI)

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